I’m so excited about this week’s guest who is the owner of undoubtedly the best new coffee house in Cheltenham! Recently featured as one of my own 5 favourite places for customer service in Cotswold Life, please welcome to the Lady Janey sofa, David Orme, the very engaging and inspirational force behind the SoGlos Best Cafe of the Year 2018, The Find.
Hi David, please tell me about your company and its history
Great food and drink, and being around great people, has always been a big part of my life. I had always intended to set up my own café and restaurant at some point, it was just about waiting for the right time. Life took a dramatic turn when my wife was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and we discussed plans for the future. She was incredibly passionate that I should at last open my café and move back to Cheltenham (where I grew up) with my 2 teenage daughters. Jackie died in 2012 but it took us a while to get our lives settled again. I then spent some time looking for and fitting out the right property and eventually opened for business on 10th November 2017.
I realised that my lack of experience in this sector would make it a challenge, but I was confident that my passion for great quality and great service would win through. And bring a fresh approach to an industry that can often feel very faceless and cloned.
Why is good customer service important?
Put simply, good customer service is all about how you would want to be treated by those people that care about you. I love people and being around them; and I want to share with them all the things that I feel passionate about. Of course great customer service has to be carefully thought through and planned in detail, but first and foremost it should be come naturally, and be driven by passion and a desire to make others happy.
How would you rate the quality of customer service you deliver and why?
I don’t want to sound too pompous. I realise that we are a new business and have lots to learn still. But in terms of how much we care, and how important to us that we get it right, I think we score fairly well. All my staff have very unique and different personalities, but they all share the fact that they are incredibly passionate and really care about the customer’s experience. I am personally involved with all recruitment as this is so important to me – at the very essence of The Find’s personality. We openly encourage feedback, not just to find out what we are getting right but even more importantly, what we can do better. A consistent theme in our reviews and feedback is how great the staff are – and that is so good the hear as it is the single most important thing for me.
How do you deal with any complaints?
It depends on exactly what is meant by complaint. If a customer is visibly frustrated (or even angry), then the first thing we will do is to find out what has happened and exactly what is the nature of their complaint. And of course, how they would like us to put it right. Customers come to us for the experience as much as for the food and drink, and therefore we want to know how we can still make it a great experience, even if something hasn’t gone to plan. My experience is that by and large customers are very reasonable and once they know that you genuinely care, and are as upset as they are that things weren’t good enough, then they appreciate that and give you the opportunity to put it right. And not that we ever want things to go wrong, but sometimes you can build lasting relationships when things didn’t get off to the best start – it gives you a chance to show the customer what you are really about.
The harder thing to deal with is those occasions when customers don’t actually say anything. They will probably decide to vote with their feet. And then tell their friends instead. This is another reason why we are genuinely interested in hearing everyone’s feedback. We genuinely want everyone to have a wonderful time at The Find, so if there is anything we can do better, we would genuinely love to know. So we can promise not to make the same mistake again!
How do you encourage customer loyalty?
Lots of ways hopefully. Obviously we have loyalty stamp cards for coffee, and are about to introduce them for “breakfasts” too. We send customers on our mailing lists special offers. But it is more personal than that. Once we get to know people, we like to treat them as friends. And we get to know what they like, and how to spoil them a little – as you would any friend.
Why should people choose you as a company?
I think The Find offers something quite unique in Cheltenham. Both in terms of the quality of the food and drink (all sourced fresh, and by and large from local artisan producers), the wonderful sense of place that each of our beautiful yet very different rooms offers, and most of all its personality. As I said above, all staff are uniquely different and the last thing I want is them to work to a script or a rigid format – I want them to be themselves and share their natural enthusiasm with the customers. Of course we train them on how to make great coffee or serve food nicely, or how to keep everywhere clean and spotless, but then we tell them to just be themselves. I am there myself most of the time and I will always choose to be surrounded by smiles!
Where can people find you?
It has been so lovely to chat to David and I have been really touched to hear his story. It’s really refreshing to find a company where commitment to ensuring the best of customer experiences is at the very heart of its offering. Whether you are looking for somewhere for lunch, dinner, afternoon tea or just a glass of wine and catch up with friends then you need look no further than The Find.
With The Find’s main aim being to provide “the most attentive and amiable service” and success only being measured “by the continued delight of its customers”, it really is a place I am in customer service heaven so please do head over there and check it out!
Until next week everyone! Cin cin!
Lady Janey x